‘Little Buds’ is our younger baby room dedicated to babies from 6 months to beginning to toddle. It has soft mats and suitable toys and equipment. The staff engages the children in lots of sensory activities including exploring different foods. The children use musical instruments daily and listen to and learn songs, rhymes, and stories with their adults. They experiment with moving in different ways using soft play and large equipment and are encouraged to develop their crawling and walking skills.
‘Big Buds’ is our room set up for older babies who are toddlers and up to 2 years of age. There is a home corner, story/quiet corner, and some small world play. Outside on the decked verandah. the children can find soft play, painting easel, a sand table, ride-ons etc with the activities changing from week to week and day to day. The children enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes in small groups and exploring a variety of sensory resources. They will be able to choose what they wish to play with and elect to be inside or outside on the verandah. During the day the children go outside for play in their enclosed garden and for walks and to explore our extensive grounds and woodland areas and often bring back resources to talk about and use in their settings.
Adjoining the Little Buds is a ‘sleep room’ with cots for the use of both rooms, and there are changing tables in the children’s toilet area. We maintain the ratio of 3 children to 1 adult as advised. Both the Little Buds and Big Buds facilities are located in our purpose-built Chalet building with its fenced garden area and verandahs.
‘Saplings’ is our provision for the 2-3-year-old children and consists of two large rooms on the ground floor in the Main House plus a patio -an artificially grassed area where they can free-flow in all weathers and play on ride-ons ,or in the mud kitchen, for example. The Saplings will be encouraged to take part in music, songs, stories, and rhymes in group sessions but they will also find resources for roleplay, and small world play and lots of sensory, arty, and messy experiences. They will be able to play with age-appropriate toys such as Duplo, simple games, and puzzles and enjoy dressing up. They are offered healthy snack choices in small groups in the dining room during each session. They go outside in the main garden or visit the astroturf enclosure and may be taken into the woods to the Forest School area for walks or activities. The provision of staff to child ratio is 1:4.
‘Twiglets’ is the 3 to 4 year old room situated in the Main House on the ground floor adjacent to the Saplings with access to the outside patio. Twiglets’ is our younger 3-4year old class. The Twiglets room is slightly more structured as befits older children but they still have plenty of time to play with a free choice of activities and locations i.e. inside or outside, the sensory corner, home corner, messy play etc. The ratio of adults to staff is 1 adult to 8 children as recommended in the ‘Early Years’ guidelines. The Twiglets begin to know a wider selection of stories and to hear the phonic sounds in words and start to recognise rhymes in poems and nursery rhymes. They count and talk about shapes and numbers and other mathematical concepts when involved in activities with a play type structure.
The ‘Chestnuts’ is situated in the Main House on the first floor. The Chestnut room is one of our pre-school rooms, for the summer-born children. The children have access to two rooms throughout the day and also have their very own dining room upstairs along with toilets and cloakroom. The children are able to use the astroturf throughout the day. The children in this room will, along with the Sycamores, learn ‘school skills’ through this year to help them with the transition to starting school.
The ‘Sycamores’ classroom is upstairs in the Main House and consists of a self-contained unit of two large rooms with the toilets just next door. The children are able to access the outside garden, astroturf and visit the hall during planned sessions. The Sycamores, are beginning to learn ‘school skills’ such as how to line up, change for PE, phonics, and activities designed for their greater attention span and maturity. A greater emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills all takes place within a play-based curriculum. Later in the year, they transition to schools of their choice. The ratio is the same as the Twiglets ie 1 to 8 The Twiglets and Sycamores eat in the dining room at lunchtime.